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Friday, December 31, 2010

NIOSH Focuses On Safety of Nanotechnology

On Wednesday, April 8, 2009 [74 FR 15985], the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announced in the Federal Register plans to evaluate the scientific data on carbon nanotubes and to issue its findings on the potential health risks. A draft Current Intelligence Bulletin entitled ``Occupational Exposure to Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibers'' has been developed which contains an assessment of the toxicological data and provides recommendations for the safe handling of these materials. NIOSH is seeking comments on the draft document and plans to have a public meeting to discuss the document. The draft document and instructions for submitting comments can be found at default.html.

NIOSH has interest in:
(1) Identification of industries or occupations in which exposures to carbon nanotubes and nanofibers can occur; 
(2) Trends in the production and use of carbon nanotubes and nanofibers; 
(3) Exposure measurement data; 
(4) Case reports or other health information demonstrating possible health effects in workers exposed to carbon nanotubes or nanofibers; 
(5) Reports of experimental in vivo and in vitro studies that provide evidence of a dose-relationship between exposure to carbon nanotubes and nanofibers and biological activity; 
(6) Reports of experimental data on the airborne characteristics of carbon nanotubes or nanofibers, including information on the amounts that are inhalable and respirable; 
(7) Criteria and rationale for including workers in a medical surveillance and screening program; 
(8) Description of work practices and engineering controls used to reduce or prevent workplace exposure to carbon nanotubes and nanofibers; and 
(9) Educational materials for worker safety and training on the safe handling of carbon nanotubes and nanofibers.

This announcement follows an earlier conference by NIOSH in July 2010.